Sunday, March 7, 2010

4 Weeks Pregnant!

No, that is not an inappropriate picture ;)  It is what an embryo (baby) looks like at 4 weeks old :)  Isn't technology amazing!!

Now, here is some information on pregnancy at 4 weeks :)

 This is it — the week you'll likely miss your period and find out you're pregnant! By your 4th week of pregnancy, your baby probably has embedded in your uterus and is growing at an amazing rate. Here's what's going on at 4 weeks pregnant:
  • When you're 4 weeks pregnant, your baby's body now has three distinct layers from which all of his organs will develop.
  • From the 3rd week of pregnancy to the end of the 4th week of pregnancy, your baby grows to the length of the head of a pin — about 1/25th of an inch long.
Your Placenta's Amazing Role
During the 4th week of pregnancy, the placenta, which will carry nutrients from you to your baby, begins to form. It's made primarily from your baby's tissues, with the help of cells from your body. Here's a look at what it does:

  • At 4 weeks pregnant, the placenta continues to thicken until the fourth month of pregnancy.
  • The placenta actually matches the needs of your baby with the nutrients available from you to give him the specific nutrients he needs at the time.
  • Although it's made up of shared tissue, the placenta does not allow blood from your body and your baby's to come in direct contact.
By 4 weeks pregnant, you've missed your period. Time to test! You might be eager to find out if you have a little one on the way. Learn more about pregnancy tests:
  • Your home pregnancy test measures a hormone (hCG) that your body produces after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus (usually six to 12 days after fertilization).
  • Most pregnancy tests recommend waiting to test until at least the first day of your missed period.
  • The longer you wait after your missed period, the more accurate the test will be.
  • Testing too early could result in a false-negative reading of a still-developing pregnancy.
What's the Best Time to Test?
  • Early in the morning when you urinate for the first time. The hCG hormone is at its highest level then. This is the same hormone your doctor will check to confirm that you're pregnant. These hCG hormone levels double every two to three days throughout your first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your doctor might choose to check these levels in a series of tests to confirm how your early pregnancy is progressing.
  • If you test negative, but you notice other pregnancy symptoms, wait a few days and test again.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests? Most tests can diagnose 90% of pregnancies on the first day of the missed period. Wait one week after your missed period and tests jump to 97% accuracy.

Fourteen days after conception, you're officially 4 weeks pregnant. In addition to the hormones, there's a lot going on with your body:

  • Around your 4th week of pregnancy, the uterus begins to thicken and line with blood vessels to nourish your growing baby.
  • Your cervix, the opening in your uterus where your baby ultimately will emerge, probably begins to soften and change color. Your doctor may check for this to confirm your pregnancy at your first appointment.
  • Tender breasts are often one of the first changes that signal that you have a baby on the way. This tenderness usually goes away after the first few months. Your breasts might seem heavier or full.
  • At 4 weeks pregnant, you even might notice a few of the other signs of early pregnancy before you even take your pregnancy test.
  • Emotionally, you might both be thrilled and worried — or both all at once. The emotions are different for each woman, but it is common to experience a full range of them.

In other news, according to the Chinese calendar, we're looking at a boy this time around :)  Obviously, I'm not going to run out and paint the nursery blue (like I was going to anyways :P), but it hasn't been wrong yet :)

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